Enterprise Mobility, Part II

Defining Enterprise Mobility Initiative

Many organisations look at their Mobile initiative as a Single App initiative, especially in the initial phase. They tend to equate the initiative as one point application like any other enterprise class system. Mobility project starts as a pilot or POC project with time and budget constraints. As the POC initiative gains momentum and takes the shape of larger enterprise wide initiative, requirements for basic foundation, typically non-functional requirements need to be addressed. Else, the initiative starts imploding giving rise to data issues, scalability issues and so on. So it is essential to address these non-functional requirements right at the inception stage.However, before we discuss these requirements, lets define the criteria for Enterprise Mobility Initiative.

Mobility initiative should be considered of Enterprise class, if it meets any of the following criteria:
1. 3-5 mobility apps are built/required to be built
2. Users group include any of 2 of the following groups: Employee / Customers / Business Partners / Suppliers
3. No. of users exceed 500
4. Mobile Device strategy for employees covers BYOD
5. Integration with back end systems involves more than 2 back end systems

Once the organisational mobility initiative meets, any one of the above criteria complexity in areas listed below increases many folds:
– App support for Multiple Mobile OSs,
– User Experience on multiple devices / OS / form factors,
– User Management,
– Device Management,
– Data Management,
– Integration Management
– System Administration
– Time To Market

And this increased complexity requires a platform based approach to develop and manage run time environments of these mobile applications.

In case of large enterprises, it is only a matter of time, that the initial POC or pilot project takes shape of Enterprise class. Architects responsbible for mobility initiatives in these organisations should either plan for platform based approach right from the beginning or alert organisations of rework.

Lets look at some of the critical non functional requirements, essential in building this platform based approach in the next article.

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